See our blog post here for details of our group performance of the piece, #ThisHappened.
Stirred Poetry will be at Reclaim the Night. Steph Pike, Rebecca Audra Smith and Anna Percy will be performing work dealing with issues of street harassment.
We have been working on creating a group set of couplets, derived from the form of landays, that talk about street harassment of women. Extract from Reclaim the Night’s Stats:
‘A recent survey of young women showed that 43% have reported being sexually harassed in a public place in the last 12 months. A 2013 Home Office study showed that one in five women have been sexually assaulted since the age of 16, yet only 15% felt able to report this to the authorities.’
There is a real need to talk about and address a culture of intimidation of women and girls, where their gender is seen as a weakness and they feel vulnerable. This needs to change, and events like Reclaim the Night are about promoting that change and beginning that conversation with people about our society’s view on women. We often look away to other countries to comment on their treatment of women, and there are so many worldwide issues where women’s safety and their self respect is at stake (http://www.womenforwomen.org.uk/).
When I look on my twitter feed I can expect to see the women I know talking about being groped when they are out jogging, being groped in a pub by a stranger in a crowded room, someone sitting next to them on the bus and trying to grope them there. These are public spaces where we should be safe. If we do not begin with respect for women here we do not have much of a podium to stand on. These marches bring attention to the scary amount of violence a woman faces on a daily basis in the UK. This is why we chose to write our poem together, to collectively raise our voices and fill up this city with noise.
You look, my feet itch to run
How safe are we in these streets of grab and hunt?